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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Later, those regiments were to form the * West Red Division/ which
was among the troops to invade Poland in 1920.   They were, indeed,
partly Polish,, just as in 1943 when the Kremlin commenced to create
Polish Divisions on its own account they were also in the same sense
partly Polish,     Except for the retired Lieutenant Colonel Berling and a
few of his companions who had passed into the Red Army, there was not
one Polish officer left in Russia*,   Those who had not perished in the
Katyn slaughter went with Anders9 Army, therefore all the officer
vacancies in these divisions were filled by the Russians, some of them with
Polish names or under Polish pseudonyms.   On May 35, 1943, all the
Poles deported to the Soviet Union between the ages of sixteen and
twenty-five had been conscripted (men and women) to fill the ranks of
the first Kosciuszko Division.   No doubt these people were overjoyed
by their release from the labour camps and places of exile and, as they
hoped, were a stage  nearer   their   return   to   their country.    The
Commander of this Division had declared in his broadcast on July 26,
1943, t^sat &*s men ka<^ keen " marvellously equipped with the armament
and military equipment of the most recent type; everything from mag-
nificent tommy-guns to T.34 tanks and fast fighters.   No Polish Army
has evei possessed such modern technical equipment and in such quan-
tities as has this division named after Kosciuszko."   It can be deduced
from this announcement that the situation of the * Polish * Soviet Division
was entirely different from the situation of General Anders' Army which,
although unable to obtain any armaments, had been requested to leave
immediately for the front-line.
On September I, the Red Star announced that, after ten weeks training.,
the Kosciuszko Division had been sent to the front, and on October 12
** that it had forced the Dniepr." Then, " owing to the influx of volun-
teers, a second Division had been formed "; its Commander was a
volunteer from the Spanish War called Walter, who had changed his
German name to a common Polish one. " The Poles now have a full
Army Corps/* Pravda stated, a Corps afterwards to be frequently
mentioned by the Moscow radio as if it were the most famous unit of the
Red Army. After two years' struggle, the Kremlin had at length achieved
Its aim. At last it had the * Polish troops * on the Russian front-line, as
in 1920, with the difference that they were now termed e Patriots * and
named after the national Polish heroes—Kosciuszko and D^browski
Divisions, Armoured Brigade of Westerplatte Defendants, etc. Thus
the ** shy body " of' Patriots * so " tin-representative " and impossible to
locate had usurped the right of the Polish Government and formed a
* Polish * armed force in Soviet Russia.
The situation was dear. Sponsoring the * Patriots * as representatives
0f the ** genuine will of the Polish people," not only of those citizens who,
for tibe time being at least, had been resurrected in Russia, but of the
e&tire Polish Nation, the Kremlin had now passed to a direct attack on